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True blue – stilton and pear muffins

April 22, 2010

StiltonFriends crowded into my house for a charity fund raiser last weekend which was based on the old TV show Call my bluff but involved wine.  A panel of experts each described the wine we were all tasting and then the teams voted for whoever they thought was telling the truth.  The winning score was 2 out of 6 wines but some teams scored 0.  Either it’s not as easy as you think or the experts were particularly silver-tongued (i.e. good liars).  Food was simple, a huge slab of roast Aberdeen angus, fresh bread rolls, a cheese board and a towering pile of chocolate.  Generous companies donated the food and ‘cheese board’ doesn’t do justice to the cartwheel of brie, Yule log of goat’s cheese and tree trunk of delicious Stilton.  The guests were valiant in their efforts but the Stilton remained undefeated and there has been more than a hint of blue about my family’s meals.  I hosted one last charity event before my trek and had an open house this week.  Integrating Stilton into a coffee morning seemed more of a challenge.  Annie Bell inspired the trio of fairy cakes I made – lemon, chocolate truffle and banoffee.  Stilton, pear, date and walnut muffins (recipe from The English Kitchen) were divine.   The balance of sweet, salty, mellow and toasted was absolutely perfect.  I ate mine for lunch, once the last tea cup had been cleared, with a rocket salad dressed with a trickle of lemon juice and walnut oil.  In fact I need to bake another batch now.  We may have conquered the Stilton mountain.

Pear, date & Stilton muffins

340 g plain flour
170 g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
220 g tin of pears in juice, drained
100 g sunflower oil
2 large eggs
50 g pitted dates, chopped
70 g Stilton cheese, crumbled
50 g of chopped toasted walnuts (chop them then toast in a dry, non-stick frying pan)
To top:
12 walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 12 cup medium or large muffin tin with paper liners, or butter well and flour lightly.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

Puree the drained pears in a blender or food processor and then scrape into a medium-sized bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the oil and eggs until well combined.

Add the pear mixture to the dry mixture, folding together with a metal spoon, just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the dates, cheese and chopped toasted walnuts. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups dividing it equally amongst the 12 cups (an ice cream scoop is easiest for this). Sprinkle the 12 chopped walnuts on top evenly.

Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until well risen and a deep golden brown. The tops should spring back when gently touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a bit before serving.

4 Comments
  1. Sherri Voebel permalink
    June 22, 2010 9:14 am

    I made up these delectable Pear, Date & Stilton muffins. They were a huge hit at a small brunch for close friends. Of course, any recipe that includes stilton and walnuts ranks highly on our list.

    Because I was a bit short on the bleu stilton, I divided the batter and used some white apricot stilton for one-half of the batch . White apricot stilton taste great by itself or on salads. Very tasty and a different flabor profile. White Stilton uses the same base cheese as Blue Stilton, but does not have the blue mold added. It’s flavor is more mild than Blue Stilton. Absolutely yummy with a bit of whipped unsalted creamy butter. (see: https://www.wacheese-gifts.com/shopexd.asp?id=207) .

    • June 22, 2010 10:09 am

      Sounds delicious. A friend gave me some fruit paste for blue cheese (like a firm jam) which was chilli, lime and apricot. It was fanstastic with stilton. I think any fruit with some sharpness (e.g. a crisp apple with a ploughman’s) goes well with cheese.

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